Johnston County

Johnston’s child nutrition managers sharpen skills

Child nutrition managers in the Johnston County schools have graduated from the N.C. K-12 Culinary Institute, becoming chef ambassadors who are able teach others.

The Johnston graduates are Rodica Ban of Cleveland Elementary, Laura Chavis of Four Oaks Elementary, Wendy Richters of Powhatan Elementary and training managers Evelyn Johnson and Lori Wooten.

“We care about the health and well-being of our students,” said Dana Edwards, director of child nutrition for Johnston County schools. “The K-12 Culinary Institute is one step that we are taking to equip our school nutrition professionals for their important roles in the schools.”

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction and chef Cyndie Story developed the institute to:

▪  Improve student health, well-being and academic success through nutritious and appealing meals at school.

▪  Increase participation in high-quality, enticing school meals.

▪  Expand the capacity of school nutrition programs to purchase, prepare and serve fresh and locally grown produce.

▪  Increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

▪  Provide continuing education opportunities for school nutrition personnel.

Topics at the institute included knife skills, weighing and measuring ingredients correctly, preparing foods for just-in-time service, work simplification and scheduling, effective use of equipment, and quality food preparation and service for a variety of meats, grains, fruits, vegetables and condiments.

“It was amazing to see the smiles on their faces each day as they enjoyed preparing these delicious meals,” Edwards said. “These are items that we can bring back to our cafeterias and brighten up the lunch lines for the students and bring variety to their school lunch.”